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Southern gospel's golden sound: Gold City, Ivan Parker coming here Friday night

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By Greg Summers

Two of inspirational music’s best loved vocal acts are bringing their tie that binds to Lancaster this week.Gold City – one the top male quartets in Southern gospel music – will be together with Ivan “The Voice” Parker at Second Baptist Church, along with King’s Cause. The concert is 7 p.m. Friday.Regularly featured on Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Video and Concert Series, and a member of the Gaither Trio, Parker just received another favorite soloist award during the National Quartet Convention. He was the lead singer of Gold City for more than 10 years. Glenn Totherow of Lancaster’s GlennMark Promotions calls their joint appearance here a “pack-a-pew-night.”When Totherow, Mark Blackmon and Dennis Nichols formed GlennMark Promotions, Totherow said bringing acts like Gold City and Parker to Lancaster is what they envisioned.“Pack-a-pew-nights are what churches used to call it any time there was going to be a big crowd. This one is certainly going to be a blow-out,” he said.“They will do some songs together in addition to all of your favorites, old and new,” said GlennMark’s Dennis Nichols. “This event is creating a big stir, so we’re expecting a big crowd.”With a string of No.1 radio hits like “Midnight Cry” and the “There Rose a Lamb,” Gold City has recorded a string of Southern gospel anthems that few can match. They have garnered numerous awards for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Group of the Year and for individual performances by its members.“There are certain songs we do every night based on what the audience wants to hear,” said Gold City baritone Danny Riley. “The hardest part is getting the new stuff in.” The “new stuff” includes songs from Gold City’s recently released “Moment of Truth” album. One of the songs, “I Cast My Bread Upon the Water,” written by Joel Hemphill is No. 10 on the gospel music chart right now.Another song, “When Jesus Saves,” almost has a Southern rock feel, Riley said.“‘Moment of Truth’ has been well received by folks,” Riley said. “There’s a little bit of everything from easy listening to hard rock.”Gold City underwent a personnel change in March when lead singer Jonathan Wilburn left and was replaced by Bruce Taliaferro.Wilburn was the remaining member of the Gold City lineup from the 1990s that swept the Singing News Fan Awards for several years.Riley said diehard Gold City fans will be impressed by Taliaferro, although he is filling some big shoes in following after Parker and Wilburn.Riley said Taliaferro had filled in for Wilburn before and was the obvious choice.“Bruce is an incredible singer with a powerhouse voice,” Riley said of the quartet’s newest singer. “He stepped right in and we didn’t miss a beat. Steve (Steve Ladd, Gold City tenor) and I have talked about how well Bruce fits into our style because of the versatility he brings to the table.”Parker, who started singing in a Pentecostal church at age 2, is recognized as one of the leading talents in Southern gospel music.“Ivan Parker is Ivan Parker,” Totherow said. “There is really no other way to describe the talent God has blessed him with.”A father of two and a grandfather, Parker has been voted favorite lead vocalist six times by the readers of Singing News magazine and favorite male vocalist nine times. He has been voted as soloist of the year by several publications and associations and received the Distinguished Soloist award from the Church of God’s Department of Music Ministries. Riley said the quartet gets to perform with Parker about four or five times a year.“We’re excited about coming back to Lancaster,” Riley said. It’s always a fun evening and we’re looking forward to it.”

Want to go?WHO: Gold City, Ivan Parker and King’s CauseWHERE: Second Baptist Church, 1426 Great Falls HighwayWHEN: 7 p.m. FridayHOW MUCH: Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. $6 for Children 7-12 and free for children six and under. Special pricing is available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale at Cooper Furniture, Living Water Bookstore, Mahaffey Funeral Home and Mungo, Nichols and Hess.INFORMATION: 283-9988